District 1

Council President

Cynthia W. Toles, ED.D is serving her second term on the City Council, chairs the Council’s Education and Recreation Committee, and represents the City Council on the Planning Commission.  She is active in the Alabama League of Municipalities and has earned the designations of Certified Municipal Official and Advanced Certified Municipal Official.  Councilwoman Toles is also active in the National League of Cities, serving on the Community and Economic Development Advocacy Committee.  Councilwoman Toles also serves on the Board of Directors of NLC’s Women in Municipal Government constituency group.


Mother of two children, Audrey and Rudolph Toles
Grandmother of thirteen and Great-Grandmother of eleven
One brother, Gregory W. Wright

Employment History

Retired from Gadsden City School system
  • Principal of C.A. Donehoo Elementary School (2002-2012)
  • Even Start Coordinator (1994-1995)
  • Title I School-wide Coordinator (1993-1994)
  • Teacher at Eura Brown Elementary School (1985-1993)
Principal/Consultant in Lagos, Nigeria (2012-2013)

Part-time History Instructor (1992-1994)
  • Gadsden State Community College
  • Talladega College
Title I - Ohatchee Elementary (1975-1985)
Councilmember Toles


Carver High School (1961-1965)

Detroit Public School (1966)

Gadsden State Community College - Gadsden, Alabama
  • Associate in Science Degree (1971)
Alabama A&M University - Normal, Alabama
  • Bachelor of Science Degree (1975)
University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Masters in Elementary Education (1979)
  • AA Degree in Elementary Education (1980)
Jacksonville State University - Jacksonville, Alabama
  • School Administration Certification (1982)
Birmingham School of Law - Birmingham, Alabama (1992-2009)

University of Alabama/Birmingham

  • Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership (2007)


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Past President
Order of Eastern Star Gethsemane No. 882
Heroine of Jericho
Member of the Antioch Baptist Church – Women’s Sunday School Teacher
Director of the Antioch Family Life Center
National Alumni Association - Member-at-large - Alabama A&M
Alabama A&M University Gadsden/Etowah Alumni Chapter - Member and past recording secretary
Member Women Democratic
Etowah Retired Teachers Association
Donehoo Elementary Advisory Board (Counseling)
Homeless Focus Group - Gadsden/Etowah
Planning Commission of the City of Gadsden
Women in Municipal Government - Board member-at-large

Past Affiliations

Calhoun County Association of Educators
Professional Educators Association
National Educator Association
Alabama Council of School Administrator
Council for Leaders in Alabama – past member of Board of Directors
C.A. Donehoo P.T.A.
Alabama Association of Elementary School Principals
District V Alabama Association of Elementary School Principal – Past President
National Association of Elementary School Principal (NAESP) - served as the Alabama Representative
NAESP Minority Foundation Board of Directors
The City of Champion Toastmasters serves as Vice President of Education
Wills Creek District Association and Congress of Christian Education – past recording secretary
Dean of Christian Education and District Vacation Bible School – Director and Teacher
Gadsden State Community College- Minority Board
Regional 310 Authority Board
University of Alabama Birmingham Alumni Association


Recognition of Christian Call to Duty Worship
Teacher of the Year at Eura Brown Elementary School
Recognition of Community Service/America Read Award
Outstanding Service to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Public Service for 25 years
Community Development Project 2000 Award
District V Nominee for Distinguished Principal
Principal of the Year
Gadsden/Etowah Chapter of SCLC Outstanding Leadership Community Award
The First Certificate of Progress for completing requirements for a Christian Education Diploma
Outstanding Service Award – Director-At-Large – National Association of Elementary School Principals
Touch Award for exhibiting Stellar Leadership- Gadsden City School Advisory Council- Regional 310 Board and Community Action of Etowah County